Federator N° 1 is Bob Pilkington (Trombone), Dillon Zahner (Percussion), Erich Ludwig (Cowbell+), Faisal Aswat (Bass), Jonathan Gramling (Vocals), Lilla D'Mone (Vocals) Steve Desrosiers (Guitar), Matt Jenson (Keys), Ryan Edwards (Drum Kit), Stan Strickland or Wesley Maples (Tenor Sax), Yaure Muniz (Trumpet).
Our sub list reads like the who's who of awesome musicians in Boston - including Sean Skeete (drum kit), Mark Hamilton (Trombone), MIchael Hurwitz (keys), Kelley B (Trumpet), and Matt Joseph (Trumpet).
The band fills a need for Boston - a big band that plays uptempo afrobeat and afro-dance. Follow us on twitter: @federator1
Bob Pilkington (Trombone): Bob is a performer, composer, and arranger who has appeared with Dave Holland, Bob Brookmeyer, the Brecker Brothers, Jimmy Guiffre, Dave Holland, Paul Horn, Dave Liebman, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, and others. He has recorded with Bob Moses, JCA featuring Julius Hemphill and Sam Rivers, and Aardvark Jazz Orchestra.
Dillon Zahner (Percussion): Dillon has studied percussion all over the globe, including living in Mali, West Africa to get deep on the hand percussion there. Currently a student at Berklee College of Music, Dillon also plays out with other afro-beat & latin groups.
Faisal Aswat (Bass): Fez is a bass player, song writer and producer. Based in Boston, born in Canada, raised in Los Angeles, Fez brings global groove together. He has played with many of Boston's finest international acts, opening for Zap Mama and many more.
Jonathan Gramling (Vocals): Jonathan is our singer. He's fantastic. Trust us. He also sings with Soulfege, an afropolitan fusion group.
Lilla D'Mone (Vocals): Lilla is currently attending Berklee School of Music, and worked with and shared the stage with Mos Def, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ciara, Kenny G, Boyz II Men, Pussycat Dolls, Wu-Tang, Bill Summers of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Kermit Ruffins, and Talib Kweli. She’s played all over the world from Kingston Jamaica, to Beijing China. As a performer, the-24-year old has the ability to connect with any audience and communicate music's deepest emotions. Lilla is on twitter @lilladmone
Matt Jenson (Keys): Although blues and jazz were Matt's first musical loves, the call to Afro-Cuban styles has always occupied a strong current in his musical demeanor. Matt has played in various Latin bands in the Boston area (including Cincoson, Manguito, Grupo Fantasia and others) and leads his own Latin sextet, Combo Sabroso. Matt had the opportunity to study with his Latin piano idol, Mr. Eddie Palmieri as a part of the Salsa Meets Jazz seminar at Goddard College (VT) during the summer of 2001.
Bob Marley was a simmering musical vibration in Matt's early years, but it wasn’t until later that he became OBSESSED! His latest reggae explorations can be found in his latest musical endeavor, Rebel Tumbao.
In the Fall of 2001 Matt joined the faculty at Berklee College of Music in the piano department, teaching studio piano and a Latin piano lab. Matt's calling to Marley presented him with an amazing opportunity to help further the legacy of that musical visionary which resulted in his creating a performance studies class entitled, "The Music and Life of Bob Marley" which has become a smash-hit at the college and at other locations in the US where he teaches it.
Bringing it to afrobeat brings Matt's journey one step further.
Ryan Edwards (Drum Kit): Ryan is a drummer for dancers, a percussionist and drum-kit player, a seeker of growth, challenge and understanding. He is a father as well as a passionate performer and teacher, an exceptional leader and public speaker, and a crazy seeker of rhythm - on a quest to make people dance.
Stan Strickland (Tenor Sax): Singer, saxophonist, flutist, actor Stan Strickland has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, New Zealand and the former Soviet Union. In addition to numerous radio and television appearances, Stan has performed in many clubs and concert halls, including Jordan and Symphony Halls in Boston, Carnegie Recital Hall and Town Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His work has been featured on recordings by Bob Moses, Marty Erlich, Webster Lewis and Brute Force. Stan has performed with jazz greats Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Mann, Danilo Perez, Shirley Scott and Marlena Shaw. Stan has opened for Jazz greats Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, and for Barenaked Ladies. He toured South Africa with The Village People, and was a featured soloist with Take Six and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall.
Steve Desrosiers (Guitar): Steve was born in Haiti, and as a songwriter, arranger and guitarist, has played with many of Boston's finest afro-diasporic groups including Nomads, Shake Senora, and CaRiMi (to name a few). Steve is among Boston’s esteemed session and live world music players. He is also well known for his stint as CaRiMi’s original guitar player whose touch gave the band its signature sound live.
Wesley Maples (Tenor Sax): Wesley just graduated from Berklee, and is about to blow the roof off this musical world of ours...
Yaure Muniz (Trumpet): Yaure was born in Havana, Cuba. Playing music since age eleven, he joined the Afro Cuban All Star directed by Juan De Marcos Gonzales in 1999. In 2001 he toured with Cubanismo directed by Jesus Alemany. In 2003 he became part of the Buena Vista Social Club in the Cachaito’s Project featuring “Miguel “Anga” Diaz and then with the Ibrahim Ferrer band directed by Demetrio Muniz. In 2006 he reunited with his long time friend and one of the greatest conga players ever known, Miguel ”Anga” Diaz in his new project Echu Mingua. He has shared the stage and recording studios with great and important musicians such as Igor Rivas, Chucho Valdez e Irakere, Leo Brouwer, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional, Demetrio Muniz, Ruben Gonzales, Omara Portuondo, Andy Montanez, German Velazco, Joaquin Betancourt, Tata Guines, Changuito, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Adalberto Alvarez, Frank Fernadez, Cesar Lopez, Roman Filiu, Barbarito Torres, Eleades Ochoa, Augusto Enrique,Mayito Rivera,Fransisco “Pancho” Cespedez, Pedrito Calvo, Guajiro Mirabal, El Pidio Chapotin, Adalberto Lara “Trompetica”, Julio Padron, and Alexander Abreu. He also recently toured with the internationally acclaimed AfroCubism project featuring Eliades Ochoa, Toumani Diabate, Basseykou Kouyate, Kasse Mady Diabate, Djelimady Tounkara, and Fode Lassana Diabate.